Totality of Symptoms


The idea of this paragraph is that the removal of the totality of the symptoms is actually the removal of the cause. Once the symptoms disappear with a simillimum, the disease ceases to exist….


Organon $ 17. Now, as in the cure effected by the removal of the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of the disease the internal alternation of the vital force to which the disease is due-consequently the whole of the disease-is at the same time remove, it follows that the physician has only to remove the whole of the symptom in order, at the same time, to abrogate and annihilate the internal change, that is to say, the morbid derangement of the vital force-consequently the totality of the disease, the disease itself. But when the disease is annihilated the health is restored, and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician who knows the true object of his mission, which consist not in learned-sounding prating but in giving aid to the sick.

The idea of this paragraph is that the removal of the totality of the symptoms is actually the removal of the cause. It may not be known that causes are continued into effects (i, e., that causes continue in ultimates), but it is true that all ultimates to a great extent contain the cause of he beginnings. And since cause continues into ultimates and things in ultimates shadow forth cause, the removal of all the symptoms will lead any rational man to assume that the cause has been removed.

This will lead you to see that if a large member of symptoms manifest themselves through a diseased ovary, and that ovary is removed, the cause of the symptoms has not been removed and will manifest through some other part of the body, perhaps the other ovary or some organ that is weak.

It is a serious matter to remove any organ through which disease is manifested. When there are two or more of these pathological conditions established upon the body and one is removed the other immediately becomes worse. For instance, if there is a structural change in the knee joint and the surgeon removes the knee, while there is a corresponding structural change in the kidneys or liver which he cannot remove, the latter immediately becomes worse and breaks down as soon as the knee joint is removed.

In the same way we find in a tuberculous condition of the lungs that it may remain in a very quiet state so long as a fistula in ano keeps on discharging but the allopath comes along and closes that vent and immediately there is a cropping out of the disease by infiltration of the lungs and the patient comes to an early death. The results of diseases are necessary in many instances. Sometimes these results are tuberculous condition, which are the ultimate outcome or effects from cause, and contain at times the seeds of beginnings of a similar kind.

They are not themselves beginnings, yet they contain causes. Unless causes are removed from beginning to end the disease can reproduce itself. This includes the first proposition of Hahnemann which means permanent removal of the totality of the symptoms, thus removing the cause and turning disorder into order and as a consequence the results of disease and removed. The totality cannot be removed without removing the cause.

“But when the disease is annihilated the health is restored; and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician who knows the true object of his mission, which consists not in learned- soundings prating but in giving aid to the sick.” Hahnemann gives this warning note against discoursing dogmatically upon the flimsy theories of man. It was the custom in Hahnemann’s time for men to clock their ignorance in technicalities; that is, to use technicalities for the purposes of appearing worse.

It is done at the present day, I have heard physicians talk to simple- minded people in technicalities. Wise people seldom use technicalities. There is nothing in this world to be could the understanding as to deal in technicalities, they are cramped and often meaningless. The doctrines of Homoeopathy should not be clouded in technicalities, but should be considered and talked out in the simplest forms of speech. When talking of the Organon and its doctrines talk good English, if you are English, and use simple forms of speech. One technical word will sometimes mean whole sentence, and can be constituted to mean a good many different things. Technicalities are a sort of scapegoat to carry of the sins of our ignorance.

The totality of the symptoms: means a good deal. It is a wonderfully broad thing. It may be considered to be all that is essential of the disease. It is all that is visible and represents the disease in the natural world to the eye, the touch and external understanding of man. It is all that enables the physician to individualize between diseases and between remedies; the entire representation of a disease is the totality of the symptoms and the entire representation of a drug is the totality of the symptoms.

It does not mean the little independent symptoms, but it means that which will bring to the mind a clear idea of the nature of the nature of the sickness. Many of the little symptoms that occur can be left out of the total without marring, but the essence, the characteristics, the image must be there, as that is of importance to the physician, being to him the sole indication in the choice of the remedy. It is true that the old prescriber may be able to perceive the totality if he can see only a small portion of it.

Prescribing in that way, however, is very often a mistake, for when that which was wanting is brought out the physician sees that he has prescribed only for the side view, as it were. You become well acquainted with old friends and know them by even a partial view of by the gait, or voice, but it is not so with strangers. Strangers have to be studied criticized and examined. It requires a long time to know the stranger’s methods, to find out how he performs his business, whether he is cheerful or not to know the character, to know the man.

So it is with the totality of the symptoms, for to a great extent every sickness is a new sickness. If the patient has nothing to conceal he will delineate his symptoms cheerfully, but if he has something to conceal it becomes a hard matter to obtain the totality of his symptoms. But this, totality must be obtained, for there is no other means of ascertaining the nature of the remedy that he is in need of, as it is expressed in the eighteenth paragraph:

From this indubitable truth, that, besides the totality of the symptoms, nothing can by any means be discovered in diseases wherewith they could express their need of aid, it follows undeniably that the sun of all the symptoms in each individual case of disease must be the sole indication, the sole guide to direct us in the chronic of a remedy.

But it is not enough to consider the totality as a grand whole: beside considering all the symptoms collectively each individual symptom must be considered. Every symptom must be examined to see what relation it sustains to and what position it fills in that totality in order that we may know its value, whether it is a common symptom, whether it is a particular symptom. This we shall consider later in the course.

$19. Now, as disease are nothing more than alterations in the state of health of the health of the health individual which express themselves by morbid signs and the cure is only possible by a charge to the healthy condition of the state of health of the diseased individual, it is very evident that medicines could never cure diseases if they did not possess the power of alternating man’s state of health, which depends on sensations and functions, indeed that their curative power must be owing solely to this power they possess of altering man’s state of health.

The statement is that medicines must be capable of effecting changes in the economy or they cannot restore order in the economy. If the medicine is too high to effect a disturbance in an irregularly governed economy it will be too high to effect a cure in that economy. The potency must be consistent with the degree. of susceptibility that calls for the medicine.

This susceptibility includes a wide range of potency, so that from the 30th to the cm. there is seldom a miss in actual experience. It is seldom that the potency is too high, but that it is higher than is necessary is often true. No drug can act curatively except by its ability to effect changes, and it is known that drugs do effect the changes by their provings; but in the provings the drug has been increased in quantity or reduced in quality in accordance with the judgment of the prover, many times the coarser substances effect few changes and sometimes none, whereas thee higher substances make sick; this is in accordance with the state of susceptibility.

Some provers are susceptible to the higher who are not in the least susceptible to a single drop of tincture of Coffea but who are extremely susceptible to the higher potencies of Coffea. Such patients, however, are often made sick by large quantities of coffee. Lycopodium in its cured form has upon most people no effect, but in the higher potencies is capable, if followed up continuously, of affecting almost everyone. The effect that medicines have upon the sick in restoring order can best be observed by inducing the effects upon healthy individuals, which we can proving.

You might easily suppose, but the way the modern firms bring their medicines before us, that they have by a great effort of their will, and by great meditation, thought out what these drugs will of medicine at the present time I very often listen patiently to a drummer from some of the New York houses. He will speak his piece, tell what this wonderful combination will do, how many diseases it will cure, and then I ask him how he finds this out. “Oh, the doctors say so. Here are the testimonials.” “But how do they find it out?” “Oh, they use them.”

But the drugs have not been proved, and their use is not in accordance with what the homoeopath knows the drugs will produce or cure. If you go into a friendly drug store and talk with the druggist you will find these medicines which have been conducted in the prescriptions of all the fashionable doctors in the neighbourhood. In six months from that time if you go to that same store you will not find one of those drugs in use, but a new set following the visit of the travelling man who has come around to represent their wonderful properties.

Do not think that I refer entirely to the old school, because a large percentage of these prescriptions is from professed Homoeopaths, and that is as much Homoeopaths do these things, attempting to establish a Homoeopathic practice upon an allopathic foundation. They try to become fashionable and change their prescriptions as the ladies change their bonnets with the season.

In $20 Hahnemann says:

This spirit-like power to alter man’s state of health (and hence to cure diseases) which lies hidden in the inner nature of medicine can never be discovered by us by a mere effort of reason; it is only by experience of the phenomena it displays when acting in the state of health of man that we can become clearly cognizant of it.

There is only one way of findings out what Aconite will do to the economy, and that is to give it to many men and note the symptoms that these men experience as the manifestations of Aconite It is first necessary to know that drugs can make man sick, and next to know what that state of sickness is. Every medicine that a homoeopath uses should have been thoroughly proven upon the healthy so that its symptom image shall have been thoroughly brought out.

It is a burning shame upon the Homoeopathic profession that so large a number of drugs exist in the homoeopathic pharmacies, and that these drugs are recommended for such and such diseases without any investigation as to their properties,. other than perhaps that Dr. So-and-So on the recommendation of some old woman, has used this or that drug for dropsy. Such a thing is positively condemned in every line of the Organon and by every doctrine. There is no principle in it, it is unscientific, and unworthy of the vocation of a doctor.

Every drug must be thoroughly proven upon the healthy. In our study of the Materia Medica I do not encumber you with partially proved drugs. We can study these after we have studied those that have been well proved. The “Guiding Symptoms” contain many medicines only partially proven, and it is often a matter of accident when cures are made with them. But the old remedies that have been handed down from the masters, and that have had years of trial, come to us as friends which we can learn of and become acquainted with.

You cannot become acquainted with unproved drugs. When books tell you that a drug is food for this or that pay no attention to them, but when a book tells you that a drug has produced such and such symptoms study these; that is a piece of valuable information. The old school Materia Medica is made up of the results of medicine upon sickness, an unscientific guide, a fluctuating scale.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.